Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves. Seattle artist Kimber Fisher encases hers in hollowed-out miniature books.

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Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves. Seattle artist Kimber Fisher encases hers in hollowed-out miniature books.

In these squint-inducing canvases for her fiercely edgy ideas about pain, vulnerability and nurturing, porcupine quills threaten quail eggs, and drops of real blood — the artist’s own — cry of heartache. One diminutive German hymnal has been dipped in beeswax, its core filled with nails that have seemingly random letters from a dictionary pasted on their heads, spelling out a hieroglyphics of torment.

“It’s the definition of a word all chopped up so you can never figure it out — and I won’t tell,” Fisher says with a touch of evil-genius glee.

She relents. “OK, abandonment.”

Oddly enough, Fisher, an expert painter and printmaker who is also a fundraiser at the Seattle Audubon Society, started on a massive scale, working on huge backdrops for local stage productions such as Seattle Opera’s “The Ring Cycle.” But many of her early personal artworks veered more toward narrative “little prints.”

“Since my prints were so small and linear, and told a story, I decided to turn them into books,” she says. “I’m literally taking a book, tearing it apart, reconstructing it and sealing it shut so you can’t open it. It’s a different way to read a book.”

Found objects have become her medium of choice to produce deeply layered, personal works. Thorns and fibers appear here, curled strips of text from a Keats poem there. But like crisp verse, every reference counts.

“Broken” is made of an 1800s daguerreotype case. Inside, nails, parts of a fern and an anatomical drawing of a lip-skin cell rest in a hardened layer of clear resin.

Of the tiny eggs that nest precariously in a number of books, hostages to sharp objects, Fisher says they symbolize transformation and risk.

“It’s kind of a reference for me of rebirth — hatching.” “At the end of the day,” she explains, “I just wanted my own little world to control.”

The world is a dangerous place for the fragile. Fisher cuts it down to size.